What can you say about B2B buying decisions? Do you think they’re strictly rational or based on emotions?

For starters, most of us happen to have a particular belief that B2B buying decisions are disciplined, rational and process-based. In other words, professionals in the B2B environment take their time to analyze relevant data and weigh pros and cons before finally making an information-based decision devoid of emotions.

Well, welcome to the 21st century!

Making decisions devoid of emotions is not the case anymore.

What you should know is that emotions play a very significant role in B2B buying decision-making today. In other words, Buyers in The B2B environment make decisions that are emotionally charged; they don’t just switch off their consumer buying habits!

The internet and digital technologies have created a totally new breed of digital B2B buyers who happen to be more impulsive, impatient and more informed than the ones of yesterday.


Businesses or companies that fail to pay attention to the emotional aspect of purchasing are sure to face a whole of challenges, especially in this digitally advanced age.

The notion that says B2B buying decisions are entirely rational has already become a significant part of many businesses. Their sales and marketing team create and share content that tends to be completely focused or geared towards the rational buyer’s mind.

As I mentioned earlier, this perspective is no longer working in this digital age, and if your business is still following that paradigm, you need to step up and keep up!

As a business selling to other businesses, you need to understand that emotions and goals play a significant role in business buyers’ decisions and that’s exactly why you need to learn or get a better understanding of the emotions that drive decision making.

So the next big question is “Which emotions come into play in B2B decision making?”

Here are some important things to consider:

#Understand the Six Core Emotions

The very first thing you need to understand is that there are not one or two but actually SIX primary emotions that drive just about every purchasing decision in B2B and B2C.

So what are they?

Well, these emotions are what every regular human feels at every point in time, and B2B professionals are also humans, right?

Great! Let’s check them out!

Well, according to the business author, Geoffrey James, there are six emotions that are sure to come into play during the buying decision process. 

They are:

  • Greed – If I make a decision now, I’ll surely be rewarded

  • Fear – If I don’t make a decision now, I’ll get fired
  • Altruism – If I make a decision now, I will help others
  • Envy – If I don’t make a decision now, my competition will have an edge
  • Pride – If I make a decision now, I will look smart
  • Shame – If I don’t make a decision now, I’ll look dumb

The bottom line: If you’re looking to build an emotional connection, you’ll definitely want to incorporate one of these six emotions in your conversation with B2B buyers.

So how can you do this?

Here are a couple of examples to help out;

  • Greed: Just try to let them in on what they’re likely to get if they make the decision.
  • Fear: You should show them what they stand to lose if they turn down your offerings.
  • Altruism: Tell them about immediate benefits their business, employees or customers stands to gain if they engage your solution.
  • Envy: Give them a couple of testimonials of how other companies in their industry have benefited from your solution.
  • Pride: Share findings by industry thought leaders who emphasize the need for a strategic solution like yours.
  • Shame: Let them know why their hesitation will be a really bad move for their business; try to be upfront in a polite way.

These are just a couple of ways to engage the emotions of your B2B buyers; it’s all about your creativity and smartness!

#2 Pay Attention To Both Rational and Emotional Needs – They Work Hand-in-Hand in B2B

Getting a better understanding of your buyer’s B2B environment is crucial.

What you should know is that a B2B buyer’s decision can affect a whole lot of people or even the entire company. In other words, making a wrong decision can get the buyer fired or worse, push the whole company out of business.

Alternatively, a good decision could have a positive effect on the company and even get the buyer promoted.

So what does this mean to you?

Well, it just means you have a responsibility to provide your buyer with information that’s relevant to both their individual needs (emotional) and business needs (rational ). They have to work in tandem.

#3 Simplify The Complexity Of The B2B Buying Decision Process

Another thing to note is that the B2B buying process is really complicated.

This complexity is two-sided; in other words, it affects both the sellers and buyers alike. For starters, sellers tend to experience a more complex sales process, and this is primarily because of the ever-changing expectations and needs of buyers.

As for buyers, they happen to have a plethora of options to choose from, and there’s little to no time to evaluate all of them.

Here’s the deal:

Since the conscious mind is easily overwhelmed with tons of information, you have a responsibility to convince your buyers that your solution will have a positive effect on their business.

In other words, you have to give them the confidence that your option is actually the best option for their business; this can only be done by engaging both the logical and emotional mind.

Tip: There’s no point in overloading your buyers with loads of information, you only have to personalize and simplify the entire decision-making process.

That’s the surest hack!

Final Words

Well, I’m pretty sure you’re entirely convinced that B2B purchasing decisions are no longer based on logic alone.

You have to do all you can to engage both the rational and emotional mind of your buyers; in other words, you must provide the right information coupled with the right emotional appeal so your customers can be fully convinced that your solution is the ultimate.